Today: Rick Merrill
I love a good display of sleight of hand. And those who practice often seems to forget that having some sort of presentation also is a necessity in order to be entertaining. Rick Merrill has understood that. His magic is funny AND full of killer material. It's magicians like him with self-ironic twisted humor that leave a good impression on laypeople. It is people like Rick Merrill, who work constantly on the public image of magic.
He is a joy to watch, even as a magician. His act is littered with tiny references to the know-it-all. He will fool you most of the time. This is not a "must" in order to be appreciated among magicians, but it sure helps. Take a look as some pieces of his act. This is pretty old footage. His comedic timing is much better now, but it still gets the point across.
The constant misdirection is a great way to have a "magic theme" in your show. To real people, it shouts "skilled" which is exactly what I think he is going for. It's no magic, but it looks like magic if you are nerdy enough to practice and not have any friends. And because the image is prevalent in the public perception of magicians, tackling that issue is a welcome change to those who constantly refer to themselves as the best thing since bread came sliced. He acts humble in great contrast to his displayed skill. And that I love. He is a winner. In more than one way.